“Daoism, Confucianism and Buddhism, after thousands of years of development, shaped the unique multi-religious culture in China.” I spoke, slowly in German. I took a deep breath and continued, “This culture was considered superstitious and harmful. It was forbidden and destroyed. But nowadays, people have realized that this unique culture is fundamental to China’s development.” I was still frustrated about my inaccurate expression and grammar mistakes when my German classmates and religion teacher applauded.
I have always considered presentation and public speaking as something that I could not achieve. Yet, standing there in that moment, I realized that I had conquered my sweaty palms and shaky legs and I had delivered the research that I had conducted. Presenting on Chinese religions is one pieces of my experiences when in Germany as an exchange student. These experiences together revealed to me my own potentials that I had never known. I was able to speak fluent German in three months, whereas languages learning was my “weakness” before; my host sister said I was delightful and pleasing in behavior and talking, while I was an “unsociable” girl before; my portrait drawings were popular among the students, although I thought I could “never” finished an excellent portrait…I realized that actually I am capable of accomplish something “I can’t”. I strived to verify it after returning back China, trying to become a volunteering interpreter in Museum, to finish one of the most difficult AP courses, AP World History in school with a 85%+ grade and to establish my own public account about Chinese culture in social network and I succeeded. Therefore, I decided to apply for the Summer Intensive program of Georgetown University to further challenge myself and discover more potentials with rigorous academic experience and college-level courses.
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In the other hand, during the research preparing for the presentation about Chinese Religions, I was fascinated about the strong influence of religions on the cultural and historical development of China. As always interested in history ever since I could hold books, I started wondering what else factors fostered civilization to develop and how. The desire to discovering about these question is another reason for my attending the volunteer interpreter team in the Museum and enrolling in the AP World History class. I would like to further my knowledge about history and culture and skills of analyzing history through the rigorous study in the Summer Honor Intensive program and also to apply the theories learned in class into higher-level study. The various undergraduate-level courses provided by Georgetown University’s Summer Honor Intensive program allow me to achieve this goal during the summer holiday and this experience would be fundamental in helping me solidify the path of my future studies. I can see myself taking courses such as urban anthropology and intro to culture studies to build up different worldviews as well as skills to analyze the changes and development of culture and history.
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